By Gerald V. Paul
Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) released its 2014-15 annual report with a focus on bias-free policing, mental health disabilities and addictions, gender identity and gender expression issues.
Commenting on the OHRC Today report, interim chief commissioner Ruth Goba said “This year’s annual report gives an overview of the extensive work we have done over the past 12 months to advance human rights across Ontario.
“We continue to seek ideas and solutions to maximize existing potential and inspire new possibilities so that all Ontarians feel they can contribute and take part fully in our community.”
Goba said that this past year, OHRC saw many changes including saying farewell to former chief commissioner Barbara Hall after almost a decade of inspired leadership.
Among the report’s highlights are Speaking out About our Concerns with the Toronto Police Service’s and the Toronto Police Services Board’s Policy and Procedure on Community Engagements, commonly called carding and “working on creating a policy on racial profiling.”
Other key highlights include:
- “Travelling across the province to launch our new policy on preventing discrimination based on mental disabilities and addictions and offering training on our policy on preventing discrimination because of gender identity and gender expression. Both policies continue to meet with strong support in the community and in the media.”
- Entering the final stages of an updated policy on preventing discrimination based on creed, scheduled for release later this year. This new policy lays out the responsibilities of employers, housing and service providers and includes an extensive section on the creed and spirituality of indigenous peoples.
- Working with the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services and the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services on Human Rights Project Charter. This long-term organizational change project, which arose from the settlement of long-standing human rights complaints, has been extended to 2017.
The annual report is available at www.ohrc.on.ca.